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What’s in Your Stash? Autumn Saylor, Stay-at-Home Mom, Treating PTSD With Cannabis

“I was waiting for that moment when cannabis would ‘stop working for me,’ but that didn’t happen.”

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What’s in Your Stash? Autumn Saylor, Stay-at-Home Mom, Treating PTSD With Cannabis
Courtesy of Autumn Saylor

Stay-at-home mom, Autumn Saylor, is a true New Englander. Born and raised in Massachusetts, she loves her Dunkin’ Donuts and her cannabis and coffee breaks, once the kids are off to school. 

Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2014, from a traumatic incident she’d rather keep private, Saylor said she actually first tried cannabis at 17, long before the diagnosis.

“I was handed a spoon pipe at a party and was so nervous!” she shared. “Of course, I had no idea what to do and it showed. I drew too much and it was long and harsh. I remember a lot of coughing, followed by a lot of laughter.”

It wasn’t until 2015, when she was in her late 20s, that she considered cannabis in a medicinal way.

Courtesy of Autumn Saylor

“I’ve always had difficulty sleeping, and one night as I was pouring a glass of wine, I realized I wasn’t drinking wine because I liked it – I was drinking it so I could fall asleep. Alcoholism runs in my family. My father died from alcoholism just a few years ago. When I had that realization it kind of freaked me out. But it also put a fire under my butt to try something else that might help me with the insomnia.”

After a few close friends gifted her some flower and shared their own cannabis experiences with her, she began testing it out at home. She was hopeful she’d also get some much needed relief with the subsequent anxiety and depression from her PTSD diagnosis.

“After the first week of uninterrupted sleep, and waking up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated in the morning, I didn’t look back,” she shared. “I’m a born skeptic, and for a while I was waiting for that moment to happen when cannabis would ‘stop working for me,’ but that didn’t happen. It’s been three years now and this little plant is still working wonders for me!”

Courtesy of Autumn Saylor

Pot for PTSD

PTSD from trauma is how many people begin abusing alcohol and/or other addictive substances, in an effort to self-medicate and quell some of the said 17 symptoms that may arise. 

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, symptoms of PTSD include, difficulty sleeping, lack of concentration, feeling anxious, and easily angered. 

“I still have work I need to do, but cannabis allows me to focus, prioritize, and gives me patience – for my husband and my kids. It also helps me to have more forgiveness – especially for myself,” she shared. I believe that cannabis allows me to be a better wife and mother. My anxiety and depression has played a major role in my day-to-day life, and has affected everyone around me.”

The stigma of using cannabis is a real, especially for moms who medicate. Saylor said it was a no brainer to replace alcohol – especially in light of her father’s passing from the disease.

“I want to do my part to help normalize its use,” she said. “I live my life as honestly as I can. It’s not always easy, but anything worth having requires hard work and a little elbow grease. I’ve met some incredible women through social media, and being able to share and medicate with other moms who understand my lifestyle – not just tolerate it – is a wonderfully positive experience.”

Dunkin’ Donuts, Weed, and Ritual

Saylor’s smoking trays and sesh situations are a favorite follow on Instagram. Inspired by a combination of her love of photography and pretty, shiny things and to help create an atmosphere for herself of peace and tranquility.

“I’m a stay-at-home mom – and it simultaneously drives me nuts and I absolutely love it!” she declared. “I’m not the kind of person who unwinds easily, so putting together these smoking shrines is like my version of being in a Zen garden. I’m using colors, textures, talismans, patterns, candlelight, and sage – all to create an ambiance that makes me feel comfortable and at ease.”

As said, Saylor is a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee junkie – she likes it medium roast, regular, cream, no sugar. Her favorite mug right now is an Ember mug, a Mother’s Day present from the family. 

“The Ember mug is temperature controlled – it keeps my coffee piping hot from the first sip to the last,” she continued. “For my first sesh of the day, after the husband and kids are at work and school, I’ll snuggle into my favorite chair, break out my bong, assess where I’m at mentally, and choose a cultivar accordingly.”

The orange and white “Poke Bong,” is a take from Pokemon, but it’s sadly seen its last bowl full, retired now after a fatal crash. She now uses the pink bong – a gift from her husband. The gold grinder is made by Instagrinder. Saylor said she prefers a bong, but enjoys joints, as well.

“Most of the objects in my smoke sets are of sentimental value, creating a nostalgic mood,” she adds. “The little Buddha figures where a gift from a cousin; the wire poker came from another cannabis mom, and the semi-precious stones were gifted to me by my doula during my first pregnancy.”

Courtesy of Autumn Saylor

Saylor said the high THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) cultivars are helpful to lift her out of depression, but too much THC can also trigger negative emotions.

“I’ve found that a good 2:1 ratio of CBD/THC gives me a good balance,” she shared. “Otherwise, too much THC amplifies the little nagging voice in the back of my mind, triggering anxiety. I also take smoke breaks, using a vape pen, or I take a 25 milligram capsule, made by the Commonwealth Cannabis Company in Southborough, Massachusetts.”

A typical morning dose is about 1 gram of flower, and Saylor said she’ll micro-dose throughout the day, as needed, with a Pax Era – allowing her to choose the right temperature, flavor and duration for each sesh. 

“I enjoy the Tangie pods from Liberty Cannabis,” she continued. “Tangie gives me uplifting energy and has a phenomenal citrus-sweet flavor.”

At the end of the day, after the kids are tucked in, she and her husband will enjoy a session together.

“It’s like having a special meal together – it’s our time to unwind, share our day with each other, make plans for the weekend, and sigh a little over how big the kids are getting!” she laughed. “For me, it’s the height of luxury, sitting on the back porch, toking on a King Palm packed with Purple Punch, easing into that gentle euphoria – usually leading into sweet pillow-talk and sweet dreams.”

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